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Coronavirus: Social distancing and self-isolation

Prime Minister announces new local COVID Alert Levels: Press release – 12 October 2020 – GOV.UK

Details on new local COVID Alert Levels set out by the Prime Minister. Levels are Medium, High and Very High.


Local COVID alert levels: what you need to know – 13 October 2020 – GOV.UK

Information on local COVID alert levels, including what they mean, why they are being introduced and what the different levels are. Details on each level at links below:

Local COVID Alert level: Medium

This is for areas where national restrictions continue to be in place. This means people must not meet in groups larger than 6, indoors or outdoors

Local COVID Alert level: High

This is for areas with a higher level of infections. This means the following additional measures are in place:

  • People must not meet with anybody outside their household or support bubble in any indoor setting, whether at home or in a public place
  • People must not meet in a group of more than 6 outside, including in a garden or other space.

Local COVID Alert Level: Very High

This is for areas with a very high level of infections. The Government will set a baseline of measures for any area in this local alert level. Consultation with local authorities will determine additional measures. The baseline means the below additional measures are in place:

  • People must not meet with anybody outside their household or support bubble in any indoor or outdoor setting, whether at home or in a public space. The Rule of Six applies in open public spaces like parks and beaches.
  • People should try to avoid travelling outside the ‘Very High’ area they are in, or entering a ‘Very High’ area, other than for things like work, education, accessing youth services, to meet caring responsibilities or if they are in transit.
  • People should avoid staying overnight in another part of the UK if they are resident in a ‘Very High’ area, or avoid staying overnight in a ‘Very High’ area if they are resident elsewhere.


Postcode checker: local alert levels – 12 October 2020 – GOV.UK

Online postcode checker to find the alert level where you live, work or visit.


Full list of local COVID alert levels by area – 12 October 2020 – GOV.UK

The areas in England listed as local COVID alert level high and local COVID alert level very high.


COVID-19: provision of night shelters – 13 October 2020 – MHCLG

Operating principles for commissioners and providers of night shelters for people experiencing rough sleeping.


Social Care Sector COVID-19 Support Taskforce: report on first phase of COVID-19 pandemic – Updated 12 October 2020 – GOV.UK

This report sets out the progress and learning from the first phase of the COVID-19 pandemic in informing advice and recommendations to government and the social care sector. Added easy-read version of How Coronavirus has affected people with learning disabilities and autistic people.


New legal duty to self-isolate comes into force today – 28 September 2020 – GOV.UK

Legal duty to self-isolate comes into force today, to ensure compliance and reduce spread of COVID-19

New package to support and enforce self-isolation – 20 September 2020 – GOV.UK

A new package has been announced to support and enforce self-isolation.

Local restrictions: areas with an outbreak of coronavirus (COVID-19) – Updated 18 September 2020 – GOV.UK

A list of areas with additional local restrictions. Includes information for local authorities, residents and workers about what to do and how to manage the outbreak. Added North East of England: local restrictions.

Restrictions on groups of six: exemptions for social care – 17 September 2020 - DHSC

DHSC has provided the following statement to CPA members on how the restrictions on groups of over six people impacts care, particularly day services and care homes:

"There is an exemption from the gathering limit for people working, this means that someone who is gathering with others where reasonably necessary for work purposes will not be subject to the six person limit. 

There is also an exemption from the gathering limit where the gathering is reasonably necessary to provide care or assistance to a vulnerable person, which would therefore exclude gatherings for the purposes of care from the limit. Residents would likely also be considered as being part of the same household unless for example they were living in separate buildings with distinct shared facilities, and so could gather with each other in groups larger than six. 

Gatherings involving people visiting a care home would need to be limited to six including the resident(s). 

DHSC have also included an exemption for support groups. This means that the majority of support groups are not subject to the six person social gathering limit if they are organised by a business, a charitable, benevolent or philanthropic institution or a public body to provide mutual aid, therapy or any other form of support to its members or those who attend its meetings. 

This includes, but is not limited to, providing support to those with, or caring for persons with, any long-term illness, disability or terminal condition or who are vulnerable.”

Making a support bubble with another household – Updated 15 September 2020 – GOV.UK

How you can safely expand the group of people you have close contact with during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Updated the guidance to say that support bubbles cannot be changed.

Health and care workers to self-isolate on return to UK from high-risk countries – 30 July 2020 – GOV.UK

Registered health and care professionals travelling to the UK from high-risk countries will be required to self-isolate for 14 days, the government has confirmed.

Statement from the UK Chief Medical Officers on extension of self-isolation period: 30 July 2020

The self-isolation period has been extended to 10 days for those in the community who have coronavirus (COVID-19) symptoms or a positive test result.

Meeting people from outside your household – Updated 17 July 2020 – GOV.UK

How you can see people that you do not live with while protecting yourself and others from coronavirus (COVID-19). Updated the guidance on gathering in larger groups and travelling to meet people, and the guidance for clinically extremely vulnerable people.

Guidance on shielding and protecting extremely vulnerable persons – Updated 6 July 2020 – GOV.UK

From 6 July, people who are shielding will: no longer need to socially distance from people they live with; be able to meet in a group of up to 6 people outdoors, including people from other households; may form a ‘support bubble’ with one other household; still be able to get a food box, care and/or medicine delivery until 31 July (if registered online by 17 July). 

From 1 August, the government will pause shielding unless the transmission of COVID-19 in the community starts to rise significantly.

Staying alert and safe (social distancing) – Updated 24 June 2020 – GOV.UK

Government guidance updated to reflect new social distancing arrangements from 4 July 2020.

Coronavirus outbreak FAQs: what you can and can’t do – Updated 24 June 2020 – GOV.UK

Government FAQs updated to include what you can and cannot do before and after 4 July 2020.

Meeting people from outside your household from 4 July – 23 June 2020 – GOV.UK

How you can see people that you do not live with while protecting yourself and others from coronavirus (COVID-19) from 4 July 2020.

Plans to ease guidance for over 2m shielding – 22 June 2020 – GOV.UK

Advisory guidance to be eased for 2.2 million clinically extremely vulnerable people across England, as virus infection rates continue to fall. From Monday 6 July, those shielding from coronavirus can gather in groups of up to 6 people outdoors and form a ‘support bubble’ with another household. Government shielding support package will remain in place until the end of July when people will no longer be advised to shield. The updated guidance for those classed as clinically extremely vulnerable will be published on 6 July and 1 August as these measures come into force. 

What I can and can’t do: FAQ – Updated 12 June 2020 – GOV.UK

Frequently asked questions about going out, supporting vulnerable people and going to work.

Leaving home for medical need – Question 15 in FAQ - GOV.UK

You can leave your home for medical need. If you (or a person in your care) have a specific health condition that requires you to leave the home to maintain your health - including if that involves travel beyond your local area - then you can do so. This could, for example, include where individuals with learning disabilities or autism require specific exercise in an open space two or three times each day - ideally in line with a care plan agreed with a medical professional.

Even in such cases, in order to reduce the spread of infection and protect those exercising, travel outside of the home should be limited, as close to your local area as possible, and you should remain at least 2 metres apart from anyone who is not a member of your household or a carer at all times.

Full guidance on staying at home and away from others – 23 March 2020 - GOV.UK

The government introduced three new measures on 23 March:

  • Requiring people to stay at home, except for very limited purposes
  • Closing non-essential shops and community spaces
  • Stopping all gatherings of more than two people in public

Every citizen must comply with these new measures. The relevant authorities, including the police, will be given the powers to enforce them – including through fines and dispersing gatherings.

Guidance on social distancing including for vulnerable people – updated 23 March 2020 – GOV.UK

Guidance on social distancing for everyone in the UK, including children, and Protecting older people and vulnerable people. Includes translated information.

Guidance on shielding and protecting people defined on medical grounds as extremely vulnerable – updated 17 April 2020 – GOV.UK

This guidance is for people who are at very high risk of severe illness from coronavirus because of an underlying health condition, and for their family, friends and carers. It is intended for use in situations where the extremely vulnerable person is living in their own home, with or without additional support. This includes the extremely clinically vulnerable people living in long-term care facilities.  Includes easy read version.

The guidance has been updated to clarify some key issues, and to ask ‘clinically extremely vulnerable people- to register for support now even if they do no need it right now. This is in order to log how many people are shielding. The guidance includes advice for:

  • Visits from essential carers
  • What to do if your carer is unwell
  • Unpaid carers caring for people who are shielding
  • People living in long-term care facilities, for the elderly or people with special needs

Guidance for households with possible coronavirus infection – Public Health England on GOV.UK

Stay at home guidance for households with possible coronavirus (COVID-19) infection.


NHS Stay at home advice (self-isolation) – NHS 111 Online

You'll need to stay at home if you have symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19) or live with someone who does.

Staying at home means you should:

  • not go to work, school or public areas
  • not use public transport or taxis
  • not have visitors, such as friends and family, in your home
  • not go out to buy food or collect medicine – order them by phone or online, or ask someone else to drop them off at your home

You can use your garden, if you have one. You can also leave the house to exercise – but stay at least 2 metres away from other people.

See all related information on coronavirus.